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Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Sunday called out a “researcher” of so-called rights group Human Rights Watch for peddling disinformation about the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 – and for plagiarizing one of his earlier statements.

Lacson replied to a tweet by HRW’s “researcher” Carlos Conde claiming Lacson was “peddling misinformation about the proposed law.”

Conde even cited a story quoting a group led by defeated senatorial bets Neri Colmenares and Manuel Diokno claiming the bill gives the Anti-Terrorism Council wide powers.

“That is my original line. You are plagiarizing,” tweeted Lacson, who since last week had noted the opponents of the bill are resorting to a massive disinformation campaign.

On Saturday, Lacson branded as inconsistent and absurd the insistence of a group of “lawyers” that the ATC has judicial powers, including the power to issue arrest warrants.

“A warrantless arrest is IMMEDIATE and SPONTANEOUS, following the ‘in flagrante delicto’ and hot pursuit rule under Rule 113 Sec 5 which is not being amended. Therefore, it is INCONSISTENT and ABSURD to think how the ATC can issue a written authority to arrest a terrorist suspect,” he said.

He pointed out the ATC’s written authority “merely refers to deputization, or who may arrest, NOT an order to arrest.”

In a statement, Lacson added Section 45 of the bill expressly states the ATC has no judicial or quasi-judicial powers. He added the ATC’s powers are limited to central policy-making, supervising, coordinating and monitoring.

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